Moscow, June 25 (PTI): Flying pizza! A Russian pizza chain claims to have successfully carried out the first commercial delivery of pizzas via a drone.
DoDo Pizza’s first unmanned delivery was made over the weekend in the northern Russian city Syktyvkar. The drone completed the order in just 30 minutes.
“Along with one Moscow-based company we have conducted the first in the world commercial delivery via drones. Until now many similar variants have been shown on videos, but we tried to deliver real pizza to real customers, and we succeeded,” Fyodor Ovchinnikov, CEO of Dodo Pizza, told Itar-Tass news agency.
The drone is equipped with built-in Global Positioning System (GPS) and video cameras that are monitored by the restaurant’s manager.
The manager gives customers a phone call at the time of delivery to ensure that the pizza does not reach the wrong person.
As the customer steps outside to accept the delivery, the pizza is lowered to him using a cable.
The drone does not come lower than 20 meters above the ground, so that people could not steal it.
If someone tries to pull on the cable, the drone triggers an emergency anti-theft mechanism releasing the cable, and the drone will fly away.
Since drones are not equipped to accept cash or cards, orders are to be completed online or by phone and paid with a credit card at the time the order is placed.
The pizza-drone is able to deliver up to 5kg of weight at speeds of up to 40kmph, according to the company CopterExpress that developed the chopper drone.
The service earned DoDo Pizza 3,500 rubles (about $100) on the first day of drone operation, the report said.
The company also posted a video online, showing the first airdrops of pizzas to customers and promised the service was not just a one-time PR stunt.
Ovchinnikov said drones will be delivering pizzas to several spots around Syktyvkar by the end of summer.
Although other chains, such as Domino’s in the UK and a company in India, have previously attempted to deliver pizza by drone, Farafonov said these had never developed into “real delivery”. Retail giant Amazon announced last year it was looking into delivering its packages by drone.